Court finds extremism in 1863x.com case
Nine articles published on the 1863x.com website contain elements of extremism, according to a decision by the Court of Minsk’s Centraĺny district of August 25.
The hearing was held behind closed doors after a representative of the prosecution requested that the reporters and human rights defenders left the courtroom.
The website was run by Eduard Palchys, also known as Jhon Silver, who is now awaiting trial in Žodzina jail.
Palchys allegedly posted texts that often criticized Belarusian and Russian authorities.
Eduard Palchys is charged with “inciting racial, national or religious enmity or discord” (Part 1, Art. 130 of the Criminal Code) and “distribution of pornographic materials” (Part 2, Art. 343). The charges will be heard by the Minsk City Court. The exact date of the hearing is still unknown. If found guilty, Palchys may be imprisoned for up to 9 years, including 5 years for inciting hatred and 4 years on pornography charges.
Representatives of the country’s pro-democratic parties, as well as several human rights activists have repeatedly stressed that the case is politically motivated, asking to recognize Palchys as a political prisoner. The Human Rights Center “Viasna”, in turn, said that an unbiased examination of his texts should be carried out before taking any decisions on the political nature of the charges he is facing.